Cover photo for Thomas J. Godwin's Obituary
Thomas J. Godwin Profile Photo
1923 Thomas 2019

Thomas J. Godwin

February 11, 1923 — August 15, 2019

Thomas J. Godwin, the son of Thomas Harry and Eva Lulu (Hay) Godwin, was born February 11, 1923, in Exira, Iowa and died August 15, 2019, at the Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa at the age of 96 years, 6 months, and 4 days.
Tom was baptized at the Exira Christian Church in Exira, Iowa. He attended the Exira Community Schools graduating with the High School Class of 1940. Tom then studied at the Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri before entering the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering in 1945. Tom attended fighter pilot school and then was stationed at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
On June 27, 1948, he was united in marriage to Anita Atherton in Walnut, Illinois. They were blessed with three children Thomas A., Douglas “Bernie”, and Cynthia. Tom was honorably discharged and they returned to Exira where they made their home. Tom helped operate the family business, Kozy Manufacturing. They built farm structures and prefabricated homes for many years until Tom retired.
During retirement Tom and Anita enjoyed doing many activities together. Tom was an avid fisherman and especially enjoyed fly fishing and tying his own flies. He was an accomplish photographer and had a dark room where he developed all his own film. He enjoyed golfing and “camping” in their RV.
Tom was a member of the Exira Christian Church in Exira. He also was a proud member of the Exira Post #332, American Legion.
Preceding him in death was his son Douglas “Bernie” Bernard Godwin; his parents; and his brother-in-law Roy A. Atherton.
Survivors include his wife Anita Godwin of Exira, Iowa; his children Thomas A. Godwin of Exira and Cynthia and husband John Ryan of Darien, Connecticut; his grandchildren Tommy Godwin of Kansas City, Kansas, Captain Charles Godwin of Fort Sills, Oklahoma, Margaret Godwin of Queenstown, New Zealand, David and wife Laura Ryan, Jack and wife Molly Ryan, and Anne Ryan all of New York City, New York; his great granddaughter Paige Atherton Ryan of New York City; his sister-in-law Jeanne Atherton of Walnut, Illinois, a niece, nephew, other relatives and many friends.
The family will meet with friends Sunday evening, August 18, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira, Iowa. Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Glen Meyers on Monday, August 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at the Christian Church in Exira. Interment will be in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The casket bearers will be Tommy Godwin, Charlie Godwin, David Ryan, and Jack Ryan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas J. Godwin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, August 18, 2019

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Exira

234 West South Street, Exira, IA 50076

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Exira Cemetery

, Exira, IA 50076

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree